Employment Issues

Updates

The ERISA Industry Committee Files Lawsuit Against Oregon

ERIC has filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon against the Oregon Retirement Savings Board for obstructing federal law. In the complaint, ERIC is requesting an injunction against only the reporting requirement OregonSaves imposes on employers that already provide a retirement plan… More

ERIC’s Legal Complaint about OregonSaves State Retirement Plan: What You Need to Know

OregonSaves is the State of Oregon’s state-run retirement program. Signed into law in June 2015, the Oregon Retirement Savings Board was implemented and tasked with creating a defined contribution retirement plan for private-sector employees… More

protected content DOL Issues Final Rule Updating FMLA Rights for Workers in Same-Sex Marriages

Under a final regulation (and accompanying documents) issued February 25 by the Department of Labor, the definition of a spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will now include all individuals in legal marriages, regardless of where they live. … More

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Yard-Man and the 6th Circuit Court’s Stranglehold on Retiree Health Benefits

Today the Supreme Court of the United States in essence overturned the infamous UAW v. Yard-Man, Inc., decision of 1983 (and subsequent offspring), where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found that certain retirees had a vested right to their health benefits in the absence of extrinsic evidence to the contrary in a collective bargaining agreement. … More

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Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Benefits Interference Claim under ERISA Seeking Same-Sex Spouse Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that a proposed class of health plan participants seeking coverage for same-sex spouses cannot proceed with claims of fiduciary breach and benefit interference under ERISA. … More

See All Updates

Amicus Briefs

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Yard-Man and the 6th Circuit Court’s Stranglehold on Retiree Health Benefits

Today the Supreme Court of the United States in essence overturned the infamous UAW v. Yard-Man, Inc., decision of 1983 (and subsequent offspring), where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found that certain retirees had a vested right to their health benefits in the absence of extrinsic evidence to the contrary in a collective bargaining agreement. … More

ERIC Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court on Retiree Health Vesting Case

Please find below a link to an amicus brief filed today with the U.S. Supreme Court by ERIC and ABC in the M & G Polymers v. Tackett case. The brief was prepared jointly by Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Proskauer Rose LLP. … More

ERIC Argues that Court Should Not Rewrite Plan Documents

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC), along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on September 6 filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit an amicus brief in Osberg v. Foot Locker, Inc. The brief urged the Court to uphold the decision of the district court which dismissed the claims of plaintiffs seeking reformation of the plan and surcharge (effectively money damages) against a plan sponsor regarding the communication of their retirement plan amendment from a traditional defined benefit plan to a cash balance plan. … More

More Amicus Briefs

Court Rulings

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Yard-Man and the 6th Circuit Court’s Stranglehold on Retiree Health Benefits

Today the Supreme Court of the United States in essence overturned the infamous UAW v. Yard-Man, Inc., decision of 1983 (and subsequent offspring), where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found that certain retirees had a vested right to their health benefits in the absence of extrinsic evidence to the contrary in a collective bargaining agreement. … More

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Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Benefits Interference Claim under ERISA Seeking Same-Sex Spouse Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that a proposed class of health plan participants seeking coverage for same-sex spouses cannot proceed with claims of fiduciary breach and benefit interference under ERISA. … More

protected content Mixed Results from Courts of Appeals on ERISA Preemption

In recent weeks, U.S. Courts of Appeals have provided mixed results when determining whether state laws were superseded (i.e., preempted) by ERISA. Several Circuit Courts of Appeals recently held that a number of state laws that impacted ERISA plans were not preempted by ERISA, while some courts held that other state laws were not. … More

ERIC Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court on Retiree Health Vesting Case

Please find below a link to an amicus brief filed today with the U.S. Supreme Court by ERIC and ABC in the M & G Polymers v. Tackett case. The brief was prepared jointly by Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Proskauer Rose LLP. … More

ERIC and Epstein Becker Green Release Summer 2014 Edition of Benefits Litigation Update

Attached please find the latest edition of the Benefits Litigation Update, a joint project of ERIC and the law firm of Epstein Becker Green. In this Benefits Litigation Update, we are focusing on … More

protected content ERIC’s Members Hear from Industry Experts at Legal Committee Meeting

In a meeting held May 8 in Washington, DC, members of ERIC’s Legal Committee heard from experts from the law firms of Miller &… More

protected content U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Retiree Health Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has announced that it will hear the case of M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, which involves when retiree health benefits are considered to be vested. … More

protected content Treasury and IRS Release Windsor Decision Guidance on Retirement Plans

Today, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service released Notice 2014-19, which provides guidance on the application of the decision in U.S. v Windsor on the federal tax treatment of same-sex married couples to retirement plans.… More

protected content U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on ACA Contraception Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments recently, in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius, with respect to the contraception coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).… More

protected content U.S. Supreme Court Issues Adverse Decision in U.S. v. Quality Stores

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision today in U.S. v. Quality Stores, Inc. The case involved whether severance payments made because of involuntary separation from employment are considered “wages” and therefore subject to the FICA payroll tax. … More

protected content U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in U.S. v. Quality Stores

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week on U.S. v. Quality Stores, Inc. The case involves whether severance payments made because of involuntary separation from employment are considered “wages” and therefore subject to the FICA payroll tax. … More

protected content Supreme Court Justice Temporarily Halts Enforcement of Contraceptive Mandate Against Nuns

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on December 31 issued an order temporarily blocking enforcement of the contraceptive mandate against a nonprofit religious group, ordering the federal government to respond by January 3 (Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Sebelius). … More

ERIC Urges Supreme Court to Confirm that FICA Taxes Do Not Apply to Supplemental Unemployment Benefits

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) on December 13 filed with the U.S. Supreme Court an amicus brief in the United States v. Quality Stores case, urging the Court to uphold an appeals court ruling that supplemental unemployment benefits … More

protected content ERIC and Epstein Becker Green Release Fall 2013 Edition of Benefits Litigation Update

We have released the latest edition of the Benefits Litigation Update, a joint project of ERIC and the law firm of Epstein Becker Green. … More

protected content Federal Court Awards Spousal Death Benefits to Same-Sex Spouse in Wake of DOMA Ruling

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June that section three of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional with respect to the federal government’s ban on recognizing same sex marriages, a federal district court recently ruled that the same-sex spouse of a deceased profit-sharing plan participant is entitled to spousal death benefits under the terms of the plan and ERISA. … More

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Ohio District Court Ruling Hints at Challenges to Come Regarding State Laws Banning Same-Sex Marriages

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on July 23 granted a temporary restraining order banning enforcement of Ohio’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in another state, Maryland (Obergefell et al v. Kasich et al). … More

protected content Update on the DOMA Task Force

Yesterday we concluded the last of the scheduled ERIC conference calls on DOMA. This included an initial comprehensive look at the Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA two days after release, followed by three conference calls of ERIC’s DOMA Task Force. … More

protected content Coverage on U.S. Supreme Court Rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8

As you probably have heard, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 26 issued its long-awaited decisions on the constitutionality of same-sex marriages, ruling that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause in the United States v. Windsor. … More

protected content Supreme Court Invalidates DOMA and Dismisses California Proposition 8 Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited decisions on the constitutionality of same-sex marriages. The Court’s holdings in these cases could have a significant impact on the manner in which employee benefit plans need to be operated. The Court heard two cases involving same-sex marriages – one involving state law and the other involving federal law.… More

ERIC President Scott Macey Comments on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8

Washington, D.C. -- ERIC President Scott Macey Comments on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8: “Today’s rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court could have a significant impact on the way employee benefit plans are administered. Companies will need to carefully evaluate their plans in light of these decisions. … More

More Court Rulings

Judicial Documents

The ERISA Industry Committee Files Lawsuit Against Oregon

ERIC has filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon against the Oregon Retirement Savings Board for obstructing federal law. In the complaint, ERIC is requesting an injunction against only the reporting requirement OregonSaves imposes on employers that already provide a retirement plan… More

ERIC’s Legal Complaint about OregonSaves State Retirement Plan: What You Need to Know

OregonSaves is the State of Oregon’s state-run retirement program. Signed into law in June 2015, the Oregon Retirement Savings Board was implemented and tasked with creating a defined contribution retirement plan for private-sector employees… More

protected content EEOC Once Again Goes after Employer Wellness Plan; Files for Temporary Restraining Order

Yesterday the EEOC filed for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and an Expedited Preliminary Injunction in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, claiming that Honeywell’s wellness program violates both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). … More

protected content EEOC Leaps into the Wellness Fray

In a complaint filed yesterday, the EEOC sued Orion Energy Systems Inc. The EEOC claims that Orion violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because it forced an employee to submit to medical exams and inquiries that were not job-related and consistent with business necessity as part of a wellness program that, according to the EEOC, was not voluntary. … More

protected content Mixed Results from Courts of Appeals on ERISA Preemption

In recent weeks, U.S. Courts of Appeals have provided mixed results when determining whether state laws were superseded (i.e., preempted) by ERISA. Several Circuit Courts of Appeals recently held that a number of state laws that impacted ERISA plans were not preempted by ERISA, while some courts held that other state laws were not. … More

ERIC Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court on Retiree Health Vesting Case

Please find below a link to an amicus brief filed today with the U.S. Supreme Court by ERIC and ABC in the M & G Polymers v. Tackett case. The brief was prepared jointly by Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Proskauer Rose LLP. … More

ERIC and Epstein Becker Green Release Summer 2014 Edition of Benefits Litigation Update

Attached please find the latest edition of the Benefits Litigation Update, a joint project of ERIC and the law firm of Epstein Becker Green. In this Benefits Litigation Update, we are focusing on … More

protected content U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Retiree Health Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has announced that it will hear the case of M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, which involves when retiree health benefits are considered to be vested. … More

protected content U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on ACA Contraception Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments recently, in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius, with respect to the contraception coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).… More

protected content U.S. Supreme Court Issues Adverse Decision in U.S. v. Quality Stores

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision today in U.S. v. Quality Stores, Inc. The case involved whether severance payments made because of involuntary separation from employment are considered “wages” and therefore subject to the FICA payroll tax. … More

protected content U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in U.S. v. Quality Stores

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week on U.S. v. Quality Stores, Inc. The case involves whether severance payments made because of involuntary separation from employment are considered “wages” and therefore subject to the FICA payroll tax. … More

protected content Supreme Court Justice Temporarily Halts Enforcement of Contraceptive Mandate Against Nuns

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on December 31 issued an order temporarily blocking enforcement of the contraceptive mandate against a nonprofit religious group, ordering the federal government to respond by January 3 (Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Sebelius). … More

ERIC Urges Supreme Court to Confirm that FICA Taxes Do Not Apply to Supplemental Unemployment Benefits

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) on December 13 filed with the U.S. Supreme Court an amicus brief in the United States v. Quality Stores case, urging the Court to uphold an appeals court ruling that supplemental unemployment benefits … More

protected content Federal Court Awards Spousal Death Benefits to Same-Sex Spouse in Wake of DOMA Ruling

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June that section three of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional with respect to the federal government’s ban on recognizing same sex marriages, a federal district court recently ruled that the same-sex spouse of a deceased profit-sharing plan participant is entitled to spousal death benefits under the terms of the plan and ERISA. … More

protected content Coverage on U.S. Supreme Court Rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8

As you probably have heard, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 26 issued its long-awaited decisions on the constitutionality of same-sex marriages, ruling that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause in the United States v. Windsor. … More

protected content Supreme Court Invalidates DOMA and Dismisses California Proposition 8 Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited decisions on the constitutionality of same-sex marriages. The Court’s holdings in these cases could have a significant impact on the manner in which employee benefit plans need to be operated. The Court heard two cases involving same-sex marriages – one involving state law and the other involving federal law.… More

More Judicial Documents

Policy Briefs

protected content Results from ERIC Poll on Time Limits in Plan Documents

Thanks to all the ERIC members who responded to our poll on time limits in plan documents!  Interestingly, over half of respondents… More

protected content ERIC’s Members Hear from Industry Experts at Legal Committee Meeting

In a meeting held May 8 in Washington, DC, members of ERIC’s Legal Committee heard from experts from the law firms of Miller &… More

protected content Final Regulations on Shared Responsibility Unveiled

The Treasury Department and IRS on February 10 released the final regulations on Shared Responsibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), i.e., the penalty on employers for failing to provide health coverage to their full-time employees. … More

ERIC Releases Results of a Poll on Benefits Offered to Same-Sex Couples

Media Advisory: On Wednesday morning, August 28, The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) released the results of a poll of its members regarding the Supreme Court’s decision that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.… More

More Policy Briefs

Press Releases

The ERISA Industry Committee Files Lawsuit Against Oregon

ERIC has filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon against the Oregon Retirement Savings Board for obstructing federal law. In the complaint, ERIC is requesting an injunction against only the reporting requirement OregonSaves imposes on employers that already provide a retirement plan… More

ERIC Outraged over Latest Wellness Suit Brought by EEOC

On Monday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a memorandum in Federal District Court in Minnesota asking for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), alleging that wellness programs sponsored by Honeywell violated both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). “This is an outrageous development, and one that could potentially jeopardize not only the health of America’s workers, but also that of their spouses,” said Gretchen Young, ERIC Senior Vice President for Health Policy. … More

ERIC Releases Results of a Poll on Benefits Offered to Same-Sex Couples

Media Advisory: On Wednesday morning, August 28, The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) released the results of a poll of its members regarding the Supreme Court’s decision that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.… More

ERIC President Scott Macey Comments on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8

Washington, D.C. -- ERIC President Scott Macey Comments on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8: “Today’s rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court could have a significant impact on the way employee benefit plans are administered. Companies will need to carefully evaluate their plans in light of these decisions. … More

More Press Releases

Regulatory Documents

protected content DOL Issues Final Rule Updating FMLA Rights for Workers in Same-Sex Marriages

Under a final regulation (and accompanying documents) issued February 25 by the Department of Labor, the definition of a spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will now include all individuals in legal marriages, regardless of where they live. … More

protected content HHS Advises that HIPAA Privacy Rules Apply to Legally Married Same-Sex Couples

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights released an update advising that the HIPAA privacy rules apply to legally valid same-sex married couples and their family members (including dependents), whether or not they live or receive services in a jurisdiction that recognizes their marriage.… More

protected content Agencies Issue New Guidance on Same-Sex Married Couples

The Department of Labor (DOL) and Social Security Administration recently issued new guidance on the treatment of same-sex couples for purposes of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and entitlement to Social Security benefits.… More

protected content IRS Issues Guidance on Amendments to Safe Harbor Plans Relating to the Windsor Decision

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued Notice 2014-37 addressing the amendments needed to comply with the Supreme Court’s… More

protected content Treasury and IRS Release Windsor Decision Guidance on Retirement Plans

Today, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service released Notice 2014-19, which provides guidance on the application of the decision in U.S. v Windsor on the federal tax treatment of same-sex married couples to retirement plans.… More

protected content Final Regulations on Shared Responsibility Unveiled

The Treasury Department and IRS on February 10 released the final regulations on Shared Responsibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), i.e., the penalty on employers for failing to provide health coverage to their full-time employees. … More

protected content IRS Guidance Addresses Application of Windsor Decision on Cafeteria Plans and HSAs

Yesterday the IRS released Notice 2014-1 to provide more details on the application of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Windsor case, which found that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. … More

protected content IRS Provides Special Procedures for DOMA Refund Claims

The IRS issued Notice 2013-61, which provides special procedures for requesting refunds or adjustments for overpayments of FICA taxes and… More

protected content SEC Proposes Pay Ratio Disclosure Rules under Dodd-Frank Act

The Securities and Exchange Commission on September 18 voted 3-2 to propose a rule requiring public companies to disclose the ratio of the compensation of its chief executive officer (CEO) to the median compensation of its employees, as required under the Dodd-Frank Act. … More

protected content DOL Issues Technical Release on DOMA Issues

The Department of Labor (DOL) on September 18 released Technical Release 2013-04, which provides guidance to employee benefit plans on the definition of “spouse” and “marriage” under ERISA following the June decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor.… More

protected content Final Regulations on the ACA Individual Mandate and the Exchange Appeals Process

Last week Treasury and the IRS finalized a regulation that was proposed last February regarding an individual’s “shared responsibility” for maintaining Minimum Essential (health) Coverage (MEC). HHS also published a final regulation on, among other things, the process for appealing decisions made by the Exchanges on an employee’s eligibility for subsidized coverage in the Exchanges.… More

protected content Treasury and IRS Issue Guidance on DOMA Issues (but NOT retroactive effect)

Today, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17, which provides guidance on the treatment of same-sex married couples for federal income tax purposes, including for some issues relating to retirement benefits. … More

protected content Treasury Provides Initial Important Guidance on DOMA

Treasury and the IRS published long-awaited guidance today on the application of the Supreme Court’s decision on June 26, 2013, to invalidate section 3 of the DOMA (which had prevented federal recognition of same-sex marriages.) … More

protected content DOL Update Clarifies FMLA Leave Applies to Same-Sex Spouses Based on State Residence

The Department of Labor recently issued updated guidance explaining that Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protection applies to same-sex spouses if the state in which they reside recognizes same-sex marriages.… More

protected content OSHA Publishes Interim Final Rule on Whistleblower Protections for ACA Complaints

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), part of the Department of Labor, on February 27 published in the Federal Register an interim final rule outlining the Whistleblower protections for complaints under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). … More

More Regulatory Documents